Osorio At Citi Open: ‘It’s So Amazing The Dream I Am Living’

Camila Osorio (photo: Peter Staples/Citi Open)

WASHINGTON, August 4, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)

Camila Osorio may not win every tournament she plays in but she’ll always give it her best shot – and, along the way, it’s always her goal to have some fun, too. Humility is definitely a strong-suit of this personable 20-year-old pro from Cúcuta, Colombia, who is playing this week at the WTA 250 Citi Open in Washington, D.C.

The 67th-ranked Osorio, formerly María Camila Osorio Serrano – just call her Cami – is a year removed from winning her first WTA title. It happened in her home country at the Copa Colsanitas, in the capital city of Bogotá. It was a transitioning moment for Osorio as a young pro on tour and came just two years after she won the 2019 US Open junior girls’ title. With her success at home, Osorio broke into the Top 100 and since, she has played in two other finals, first at Tenerife in 2021 and earlier this year in Monterrey.

The luck of this year’s Citi Open draw placed Osorio up against a popular American, 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, who, like the Colombian, was making a comeback from an injury. The 5-foot-7 Osorio was sidelined by a pulled adductor muscle suffered in a first-round match against Elise Mertens at Wimbledon, while Kenin had been nursing an ankle injury that sidelined her since Miami. Osorio’s injury gave her the incentive to recover and continue to work hard – all part of the process.

On Tuesday, playing on the second-largest court at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center – and with much of the partisan D.C. crowd cheering for the former World No. 4 Kenin – the star-struck Osorio played determined tennis against the American wild card, now ranked 416th, and won 7-6 (2), 6-1.

Osorio’s triumph over Kenin was a promising one. She hit 29 winners, converted six of 10 break points and outpointed her opponent 75-55.

Not to be overlooked, there was a small but vocal group of Colombian fans waving flags and cheering for Osorio that got her attention. She showed her appreciation toward them afterward. Later, many of the same Colombian fans would turn their attention to their other home country heroes, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, who are competing in the ATP 500 doubles event.

“Today was an amazing win, I felt really good on the court,” said Osorio, smiling and at ease, while holding court with a small group of reporters, including Tennis TourTalk, in a corner just outside the Stadium court.

“I knew [Kenin] was going to be a really tough opponent. In the first set, [I’m] 5-2 up and [have] two set points and I couldn’t close it. It’s part of the game. I think I stayed calm and tried to put as many balls in play as possible.

“I’m really happy with the win,” Osorio added. “She’s an amazing player, she’s won a grand slam. I was a little nervous at first but I’m happy with the win.”

Osorio’s reward? A second-round match against reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu of Great Britain.  The two battled Thursday afternoon in brutal 95-degree heat on the Stadium court that lasted two hours and 49 minutes. Lucky for them, it ended before massive thunderstorms invaded the Beltway and suspended play for much of the evening.

“It’s going to be fun. I just want to go there and enjoy. I want to win,” Osorio said. “It doesn’t matter, I’m just going to go and focus on the next round – and hopefully keep going.”

As it happened, Raducanu won 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals despite serving nine double faults and committing 51 unforced errors. Osorio struck 27 winners but also made 60 unforced errors. They combined for eight breaks of serve. By the end, there was a difference of just eight points between them with Raducanu outpointing Osorio 109-101. After Osorio sent a forehand wide left on match point, the two competitors shared a warm embrace at the net and both left the court smiling.

“I think she’s a great person, but, you know, when you’re on the court playing someone, you’re both going at it and at each other,” Raducanu said later during her post-match press conference.

“But in the end of the match, of course it was massive respect. I think at the end, as well, she was really, really nice, which is not necessarily easy after losing in three hours.”

While Raducanu’s facial expression suggested a sense of relief – after all, she dealt with blisters due to the heat – Osorio knew she had given all she had on this day. The Colombian could be proud of herself and what she accomplished this week.


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During a brief exchange Tuesday, Osorio was asked by a reporter who her favorite player growing up was – and without missing a beat, she smiled and replied, “Roger.” As in Roger Federer. “He knows.

“At this moment, I’ll say every player. With all the effort that it takes to play on tour, I admire all of them and I want to learn from all of them, too.”

No doubt, Osorio will move on with lessons learned from playing Raducanu.

Looking back, Tennis TourTalk asked Osorio how winning her first WTA title last year in Colombia, which elevated her into the Top 100, had changed her. “You know,” she said, “it’s so amazing the dream I am living right now.

“In 2018, I was playing juniors and imagining me playing all of these big opponents and being on the Tour and playing Grand Slams. … Now that I am here, it’s hard to believe it. I’m still trying to get used to all of this. I try to do my best every time I step onto the court because I’m living my dream.”

Indeed, Osorio is – win or lose.

Around the Citi Open

• No. 7 seed Karen Khachanov of Russia was denied his 200th career win against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka. Instead, the 96th-ranked Nishioka gave a steady performance in brutal, 95-degree heat with temperatures on John Harris court exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit and won 7-6 (2), 7-6 (1) in two hours and 18 minutes to reach the quarterfinal round. Nishioka hit 25 winners and made just five unforced errors. He outpointed the No. 24 Khachanov 102-86.

• No. 115 Mikael Ymer of Sweden reached his sixth career ATP Tour quarterfinal and first at the 500 level with a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4 victory over 46th-ranked Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland on the Grandstand court. The victory for Ymer, his first against Ruusuvuori, took nearly three hours. It advanced him to face either No. 5 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria or 54th-ranked American Sebastian Korda.

• Both Liudmila Samsonova of Russia and Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia are making their Citi Open debuts this week. When the 60th-ranked Samsonova defeated No. 5 seed Elise Mertens of Belgium in straight sets Tuesday, it was just her second win in her last nine matches. Her best run of the season has been reaching the semifinals on indoor clay at Stuttgart. Meanwhile, the No. 69 Tomljanovic beat 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens in straight sets for her 18th win of the season and is coming off a quarterfinal finish at Wimbledon on grass.

Fighting the heat on Stadium court, Samsonova rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win that stretched over two hours and 14 minutes and lifted her into Friday’s quarterfinals. She finished with 13 aces and hit 37 winners. Samsonova outpointed Tomljanovic 95-80.

Nick Kyrgios, the only former Citi Open champion in the men’s draw meets No. 4 seed Reilly Opelka, who is one of six American men who have made it to the third round. Opelka is unbeaten in the U.S. since Miami and owns two titles this season – Dallas and Houston. Opelka, who is 2-0 lifetime against Kyrgios, beat the Aussie on clay in the Houston semifinals in April. Through his first two Citi Open matches, Kyrgios has garnered 27 service aces, while Opelka racked up 28 against Denis Kudla on Wednesday. Expect a lot of blistering first serves today.

• American No. 1 and third seed Taylor Fritz came into his third-round match against No. 16 seed Daniel Evans of Great Britain with an 11-3 win-loss record in the U.S. this season, including winning the Indian Wells title in March. In their only tour-level meeting, the 24-year-old Fritz beat Evans on clay last year in Rome. However, Fritz retired due to fatigue trailing 3-6, 7-6  (6), 4-1, after being on court for more than two hours.

Thursday’s Citi Open ATP results

Thursday’s Citi Open WTA results

By the numbers

Nick Kyrgios is the only former champion in the 2022 Citi Open singles draw.

• Top seed Andrey Rublev, who faces Maxime Cressy in Thursday evening’s third round, is seeking his fourth ATP Tour title of the season to go with previous successes at Marseille, Dubai and Belgrade. If he wins the Citi Open, it would draw him level with Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

• No. 3 seed Taylor Fritz is one of six Americans who advanced to the Citi Open third round. Joining him are: Reilly Opelka, Frances Tiafoe, Maxime Cressy, J.J. Wolf and Sebastian Korda.

Camila Osorio of Colombia, who lost to No. 1 seed Emma Raducanu today, owns one career win over a Top 10 opponent, last year defeating Elina Svitolina at Tenerife.

Victoria Azarenka, former World No. 1 who held the top ranking for 51 total weeks, has won 21 total titles throughout her career, 20 of them on hard courts.

“Quotable …”

“I just feel I’m a bit more professional on a day-to-day basis You know, I try and I think I’m just not taking anything for granted. I think earlier in my career when I would come to places, I wouldn’t really like to explore. I wouldn’t really, just when I’m at the courts, I wouldn’t interact with fans that much. Would take practices seriously. I would tank matches here or there.

“It was just a tough time. I was just trying to figure out my life. It was hard for a young kid that had all that pressure, dealing with all [the] negativity. There were just some weeks when I didn’t feel like doing anything.

“It was impossible for me to go out there and give a good performance. Now, I feel as if my team kind of keeps me balanced.”

Nick Kyrgios, during his post-match press conference after defeating Tommy Paul Wednesday evening, on maturing as a player and person.